Small Business and Word of
  Mouth – Why it works

          Bill Balderaz
          Amy Marshall
        Webbed Marketing...
Agenda

• Why WOM works for Small Business
• Planning a WOM episode for Small Business
• An approach to tracking WOM
• Sma...
WOM is Good for Small Businesses

• Fast
• Flexible
• Willing to experiment
• Gutsy
• Limited budget




                 ...
Small Businesses are Fast

• Make decisions quick
• Moderate approval processes
• No “brand police”
• Acting quickly is cr...
Small Businesses are Flexible and
      Willing to Experiment
• Less to loose as a big brand
• Results driven
• Motivated ...
Small Businesses are Gutsy

• Thick skin for negative comments and can respond
  quickly
• Able to “let go” of conversatio...
Small Businesses Have Small Budgets

• Can’t always afford expensive, traditional media
• WOM is less expensive per impres...
Planning a Word of Mouth
Episode for Small Business
Clear Goals

• Can’t measure “more buzz”
• Define measurable metrics – 16 media placements,
  40 relevant links, increase ...
Determine the Hook

• Set goals before determining the “hook”
• Questionnaire to determine need – What gets the
  particip...
Determine Distribution Plan

• Earn your way into distribution
• Avoid word “Free”
• Small businesses tend to have a small...
Determine Distribution Plan

• Think in terms of most efficient coverage
• Examples: Pitch a blogger, obtain a following o...
An Approach to Tracking
        WOM

        Scorecard
The Webbed Marketing Scorecard




             Slide 14
The Webbed Marketing Scorecard

• Tracks “micro goals” that funnel into strategic
  goals
• In bound links, blog mentions,...
Small Business WOM                      Case
           Studies

             Moochie & Company
         Suburban Cylinder...
Moochie & Co.

• A high end start up specialty web and mall pet gift
  and accessories retailer
• Highly targeted market, ...
Moochie & Co.

• Press releases timed with high search volume, high
  media attention topics
    “I Love My Mommy” tshirt...
Moochie & Co.




     Slide 19
Moochie & Co.




     Slide 20
Suburban Cylinder Propane

• Decidedly “unsexy” topic
• Difficult to explain to consumers
• Opportunity to use humor
• Lev...
Suburban Cylinder Propane

• Create phony awards ceremony
• Disgruntled Tooth Fairy speaks out
• Distributed via press rel...
Suburban Cylinder Propane




           Slide 23
Blossom4Girls

• Highly competitive space
• Unknown brand
• Limited advertising budget




                        Slide 24
Blossom4Girls

• Take advantage of existing buzz around High
  School Musical
• Take advantage of “School’s Out” stories b...
Blossom4Girls
                                            Metric
                                                 May 2008...
Shizuka New York

• Located in Midtown Manhattan
• Cosmetology & skin care with “Eastern Holistic
  Knowledge”
• Featured ...
Shizuka New York

• Following Word of Mouth program:
    Mention on Jay Leno
    Mention on CNN
    Home page of CNN.co...
With a Compelling Hook

• Highlighting “Bird Poop Facials”




                        Slide 29
The Right Channels

• SEO Press Release
• Blogger Outreach
• Video
• Social Networks




                      Slide 30
And Goals

• Branding and awareness
• Increased site traffic
• New clients




                       Slide 31
SEO Press Release




       Slide 32
SEO Press Release




       Slide 33
SEO Press Release




       Slide 34
SEO Press Release

Google News results were at two at the beginning of May and are
now at 433




                        ...
Blogger Outreach

• Identify bloggers in key categories:
    Already talking
    Skin Care
    Pop Culture
    News of...
Blogger Outreach

• Read the blog!
• Clearly identify who you are
• Tailor your message
• Provide only relevant content
• ...
Blogger Outreach




      Slide 38
Blogger Outreach




      Slide 39
Blogger Outreach

•  Responses have been positive.
      “Many thanks for the information...sounds very interesting
     ...
Video

• Spoof interview produced
• Uploaded to YouTube
• Embedded in press release
• Sent to bloggers




               ...
Video

•  The YouTube Geisha Facial video – 13,000+ views




                               Slide 42
Social Networks

• Use social networks to connect with influencers,
  reporters and consumers:
    StumbleUpon
    Mixx
...
Social Networks




      Slide 44
Social Networks
    •  Since Mid-May, sites sending traffic to ShizukaNY.com
       have been from the PR and WOM efforts
...
Social Networks
•  46% of site traffic in May and June came from Social
   Networks, including StumbleUpon, Mixx, YouTube ...
Other Results

• Site traffic
• Inbound links
• Web results




                       Slide 47
Site Traffic
•  From March to June traffic increased more than 60%
•  Traffic increased from all sources
•  Inbound links ...
Web Results

Ice Rocket web results were at 3,960 at the beginning of
May and are now up to 20,700




                   ...
Summary

• Start with a strategic goal (more sales, leads, or
  media awareness)
• Break those into measurable “micro-
  g...
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Small Business and Word of Mouth - Why it works

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Presentation from Bill Balderaz and Amy Marshall of Webbed Marketing (www.webbedmarketing.com) for the Word of Mouth Research Symposium

Published in: Business, Technology

Small Business and Word of Mouth - Why it works

  1. 1. Small Business and Word of Mouth – Why it works Bill Balderaz Amy Marshall Webbed Marketing www.webbedmarketing.com
  2. 2. Agenda • Why WOM works for Small Business • Planning a WOM episode for Small Business • An approach to tracking WOM • Small Business WOM case studies Slide 2
  3. 3. WOM is Good for Small Businesses • Fast • Flexible • Willing to experiment • Gutsy • Limited budget Slide 3
  4. 4. Small Businesses are Fast • Make decisions quick • Moderate approval processes • No “brand police” • Acting quickly is critical for WOM strategies Slide 4
  5. 5. Small Businesses are Flexible and Willing to Experiment • Less to loose as a big brand • Results driven • Motivated to have customers create content because of limited bandwidth • Take more risks on edgy content Slide 5
  6. 6. Small Businesses are Gutsy • Thick skin for negative comments and can respond quickly • Able to “let go” of conversations • Engage in customer conversations Slide 6
  7. 7. Small Businesses Have Small Budgets • Can’t always afford expensive, traditional media • WOM is less expensive per impression • Measurement is tangible Slide 7
  8. 8. Planning a Word of Mouth Episode for Small Business
  9. 9. Clear Goals • Can’t measure “more buzz” • Define measurable metrics – 16 media placements, 40 relevant links, increase sales 12% • Take baseline metrics before campaign starts   SEO metrics, Social Media metrics • Break metrics down into quantifiable goals   Mentions in blogs, social networks, links to the site… • Small businesses can quantify metrics easily Slide 9
  10. 10. Determine the Hook • Set goals before determining the “hook” • Questionnaire to determine need – What gets the participants excited • Examples: Free sample, white paper, video, online calculator/application, stunt Slide 10
  11. 11. Determine Distribution Plan • Earn your way into distribution • Avoid word “Free” • Small businesses tend to have a small niche – look for specialized networks or “celebrity” bloggers that don’t often get pitched • Rate the value of each participant and determine the pitch Slide 11
  12. 12. Determine Distribution Plan • Think in terms of most efficient coverage • Examples: Pitch a blogger, obtain a following on MySpace/Facebook, use tagging sites, Tweet to your target, make new connections on LinkedIn build a presence on targeted social networks • Great Content+Great Distribution=Great Word of Mouth Slide 12
  13. 13. An Approach to Tracking WOM Scorecard
  14. 14. The Webbed Marketing Scorecard Slide 14
  15. 15. The Webbed Marketing Scorecard • Tracks “micro goals” that funnel into strategic goals • In bound links, blog mentions, presence on social networks, traffic numbers, web mentions and other measurable metrics funnel into strategic goals • Provide real evidence of measurable improvement • Provide direction on where to focus efforts Slide 15
  16. 16. Small Business WOM Case Studies Moochie & Company Suburban Cylinder Propane Blossom4Girls Shizuka Spa – aka “The Bird Poop Facial”
  17. 17. Moochie & Co. • A high end start up specialty web and mall pet gift and accessories retailer • Highly targeted market, highly competitive industry, limited advertising budget • Consumers and influencers are heavy web users Slide 17
  18. 18. Moochie & Co. • Press releases timed with high search volume, high media attention topics   “I Love My Mommy” tshirt near Mother’s Day   “Take Your Dog to Work” campaign   “I Have Two Daddies” campaign   “MySpace for Cats & Dogs” • Highly targeted market, highly competitive industry, limited advertising budget Slide 18
  19. 19. Moochie & Co. Slide 19
  20. 20. Moochie & Co. Slide 20
  21. 21. Suburban Cylinder Propane • Decidedly “unsexy” topic • Difficult to explain to consumers • Opportunity to use humor • Leverage an icon everyone knows Slide 21
  22. 22. Suburban Cylinder Propane • Create phony awards ceremony • Disgruntled Tooth Fairy speaks out • Distributed via press releases (one outlet published it as a “real” release!), on social networks and direct to “grilling” influencers • The Propane Fairy developed a fan base Slide 22
  23. 23. Suburban Cylinder Propane Slide 23
  24. 24. Blossom4Girls • Highly competitive space • Unknown brand • Limited advertising budget Slide 24
  25. 25. Blossom4Girls • Take advantage of existing buzz around High School Musical • Take advantage of “School’s Out” stories being published • Stay true to brand image • Hold contest for Blossom4Girls Party Slide 25
  26. 26. Blossom4Girls Metric May 2008 June 2008 Traffic Rank (3 mo average) 2,905,495 602,403 This metric ranks websites in terms of overall traffic. Note: Yahoo! is number 1 in the Alexa ranking. The lower the number, the higher the traffic. In Bound Links Indexed by Yahoo! This approximate metric tracks how many Yahoo! indexed sites link to the domain. 7 84 Alexa Page views per user This metric measures the average number of pages viewed by human visitors. 6.5 8.6 Webbed-O-Meter Buzz Measurement This category combines mentions on blogs, forums and other consumer generated content 2.2 5.6 sites to decide a site’s “buzz” factor. The scale is 1 to 100 with 100 being the highest score. Web (IceRocket) “Blossom4Girls” “www.blossom4girls.com” 197 157 1,250 548 Web (Google) “Blossom4Girls” “www.blossom4girls.com” 1,260 555 Compete.com Traffic numbers People Visits Insufficient data 3,441 10,162 Quantcast numbers US Reach Rank Insufficient data 2,163 526,739 Slide 26
  27. 27. Shizuka New York • Located in Midtown Manhattan • Cosmetology & skin care with “Eastern Holistic Knowledge” • Featured in international media including Marie Claire, Shape, Vogue, and Harpers Bazaar Slide 27
  28. 28. Shizuka New York • Following Word of Mouth program:   Mention on Jay Leno   Mention on CNN   Home page of CNN.com   E! “The Soup”   The Hollywood Reporter Slide 28
  29. 29. With a Compelling Hook • Highlighting “Bird Poop Facials” Slide 29
  30. 30. The Right Channels • SEO Press Release • Blogger Outreach • Video • Social Networks Slide 30
  31. 31. And Goals • Branding and awareness • Increased site traffic • New clients Slide 31
  32. 32. SEO Press Release Slide 32
  33. 33. SEO Press Release Slide 33
  34. 34. SEO Press Release Slide 34
  35. 35. SEO Press Release Google News results were at two at the beginning of May and are now at 433 Slide 35
  36. 36. Blogger Outreach • Identify bloggers in key categories:   Already talking   Skin Care   Pop Culture   News of the Weird Slide 36
  37. 37. Blogger Outreach • Read the blog! • Clearly identify who you are • Tailor your message • Provide only relevant content • Ask yourself again before you hit “send” Slide 37
  38. 38. Blogger Outreach Slide 38
  39. 39. Blogger Outreach Slide 39
  40. 40. Blogger Outreach •  Responses have been positive.   “Many thanks for the information...sounds very interesting and I will look into it.”   “Thanks for writing us! We'd be happy to feature your video - do you have embeddable code for it?”   “Thanks much - I will take a look.” Slide 40
  41. 41. Video • Spoof interview produced • Uploaded to YouTube • Embedded in press release • Sent to bloggers Slide 41
  42. 42. Video •  The YouTube Geisha Facial video – 13,000+ views Slide 42
  43. 43. Social Networks • Use social networks to connect with influencers, reporters and consumers:   StumbleUpon   Mixx   Digg   MySpace Slide 43
  44. 44. Social Networks Slide 44
  45. 45. Social Networks •  Since Mid-May, sites sending traffic to ShizukaNY.com have been from the PR and WOM efforts Source Pages/Visit % New Visits stumbleupon.com 1.17 98% prweb.com 3.15 81% newyork.citysearch.com 3.88 90% beauty.ivillage.com 2.11 98% spafinder.com 3.49 79% cnbc.com 1.51 21% elvacilon.lamusica.com 2.21 94% mizfitonline.com 1.04 100% mixx.com 1.05 93% Slide 45
  46. 46. Social Networks •  46% of site traffic in May and June came from Social Networks, including StumbleUpon, Mixx, YouTube and Digg Slide 46
  47. 47. Other Results • Site traffic • Inbound links • Web results Slide 47
  48. 48. Site Traffic •  From March to June traffic increased more than 60% •  Traffic increased from all sources •  Inbound links increased from 529 to 1,109 Slide 48
  49. 49. Web Results Ice Rocket web results were at 3,960 at the beginning of May and are now up to 20,700 Slide 49
  50. 50. Summary • Start with a strategic goal (more sales, leads, or media awareness) • Break those into measurable “micro- goals” (inbound links, website traffic, blogger mentions) • Create a baseline scorecard • Correlate progress against the strategic against progress on “micro-goals” Slide 50

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